GPT or MBR - Windows 7 on SSD- and using Acronis

itakey

Senior member
Sep 9, 2005
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So I just installed a fresh copy of Windows 7-64bit on an SSD and I walked through the setup and let the Windows 7 install handle the formatting. It chose GPT.

I use Acronis 2014 and I see that to use the "Try & Decide" function it requires MBR. Is there any reason why I should use GPT over MBR, or can I reformat the drive and reinstall so I can then use this "Try & Decide" feature?

I'm guessing there is no way to convert GPT to MBR and i'll need to reinstall.

With secondary drives should I format those as MBR also? I have a few 3TB's and a 4TB drive and I know the 4TB is GPT.
 

ViRGE

Elite Member, Moderator Emeritus
Oct 9, 1999
31,516
167
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If you're using a UEFI based install you should be using GPT with it. GPT is the native partition format for UEFI, and other than legacy issues is an all-around better disk partitioning scheme since it doesn't suffer from MBR's partition count and size limits.

Try & Decide is a nifty feature, but I certainly wouldn't consider it worth reversing back to BIOS + MBR just for that one feature.

As for your secondary drives, those will need to be GPT. MBR has a disk size limit of 2.2TB, so 3TB and 4TB drives cannot be fully accessed by MBR.
 

itakey

Senior member
Sep 9, 2005
537
0
71
If you're using a UEFI based install you should be using GPT with it. GPT is the native partition format for UEFI, and other than legacy issues is an all-around better disk partitioning scheme since it doesn't suffer from MBR's partition count and size limits.

Try & Decide is a nifty feature, but I certainly wouldn't consider it worth reversing back to BIOS + MBR just for that one feature.

As for your secondary drives, those will need to be GPT. MBR has a disk size limit of 2.2TB, so 3TB and 4TB drives cannot be fully accessed by MBR.
Thanks for the great info, exactly what I was looking for.

My motherboard is a Gigabyte and it has a UEFI bios that was released a few months ago, but I was somewhat reluctant to upgrade to it (From the old school Legacy). Is there any benefit to going with the UEFI other than the cool graphics end of things? Does it allow you to adjust from within Windows, or is it still in the starting bios, but just a cooler looking interface. I don't mind the legacy since I've used it for so long. I did read some say UEFI can speed up boot times though which is cool.

Agreed on Try & Decide, I think i'll just load up a Virtual machine and test things there before putting on my main machine.
 
Nov 25, 2013
32,083
11,718
136
If you're using a UEFI based install you should be using GPT with it. GPT is the native partition format for UEFI, and other than legacy issues is an all-around better disk partitioning scheme since it doesn't suffer from MBR's partition count and size limits.

Try & Decide is a nifty feature, but I certainly wouldn't consider it worth reversing back to BIOS + MBR just for that one feature.

As for your secondary drives, those will need to be GPT. MBR has a disk size limit of 2.2TB, so 3TB and 4TB drives cannot be fully accessed by MBR.


Or, the larger, storage disks can be partitioned into 2 gig or smaller partitions. Though why you'd bother to partition large disks these days I'm not sure.
 

Berryracer

Platinum Member
Oct 4, 2006
2,779
1
81
I have tried Acronis True Image 2011 + the Add-On pack for supporting GPT, tried Acronis True Image 2013, while they do backup GPT partitions, just wait till you need to restore and see how badly it will fail.

Ever since then, I switched to Macrium Reflect Pro and it has always worked on GPT partitions with no failure + it has no bloatware like cloud storage and what not.

Bear in mind, I only went for the Pro edition of Macrium Reflect because it allows you to restore your image without the need for the boot up rescue CD, it adds an entry to your startup of Windows which you can enable disable in a second so you can quickly reboot in its recovery mode with no CD

With that said, it offers nothing else extra over the Free Edition the Free Edition can perfectly backup and restore GPT disks

GPT will give you slightly better performance on a UEFI motherboard so you wouldn't wanna go MBR which is ancient
 

ViRGE

Elite Member, Moderator Emeritus
Oct 9, 1999
31,516
167
106
Is there any benefit to going with the UEFI other than the cool graphics end of things? Does it allow you to adjust from within Windows, or is it still in the starting bios, but just a cooler looking interface. I don't mind the legacy since I've used it for so long. I did read some say UEFI can speed up boot times though which is cool.
At the end of the day both boot, so if that's all your looking for then they may as well be the same. But BIOS is ancient and is going away; UEFI provides better performance, better security, better UI/feedback, and is far more maintainable. So I wouldn't get too invested in BIOS at this point.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
56,311
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Or, the larger, storage disks can be partitioned into 2 gig or smaller partitions. Though why you'd bother to partition large disks these days I'm not sure.

This is NOT true. The 2TB limit is the limit of physical sectors that the MBR (and thus partitions) can address. You CANNOT create "multiple 2TB partitions" to work around that limit.
 
Nov 25, 2013
32,083
11,718
136
This is NOT true. The 2TB limit is the limit of physical sectors that the MBR (and thus partitions) can address. You CANNOT create "multiple 2TB partitions" to work around that limit.

Ouch! My bad! I forgot that you need something like Seagate Disc wizard to create a partition above the 2TB limit. Thanks.